Blogger Matthew Firestone

Introducing another new blogger at Gadling, Matthew Firestone…

Where was your photo taken? This shot was taken at the summit of Mt. Sinai in Egypt shortly after sunrise. Although I’m trying my hardest to look awake and alert, I can hardly keep my eyes open. The trek to the top of Sinai was a gruelling overnight trudge, but it was worth every blister, stubbed toe and twisted ankle.

Where do you live now? Tokyo, Japan (???????????)

Scariest airline flown? Egypt Scare, er, Egypt Air. Call me crazy, but it should cost more than the price of a decent meal back home to fly across a country as enormous as Egypt. Then again, when the plane is a 1970s Russian-built Aeroflot complete with a tweed and beige interior, perhaps not.

Favorite city/country/place? Namibia – for the beauty and isolation of its landscape – though fresh sushi on any of Okinawa’s beaches is a close second.

Most remote corner of the globe visited? Against both my better judgment and my survival instincts, I trekked through the Darien Gap, the infamous no-man’s land between Panama and Colombia famous for FARC rebels, paramilitary and a healthy dose of pit vipers. My mother still hasn’t forgiven me.

Favorite guidebook series? Lonely Planet, particularly the editions I write.

The most unusual food I’ve ever eaten is… odorigui, which translates to ‘dancing-eating’ or the practice of consuming live animals. I assure you nothing can compare to the sensation of eating a writhing octopus tentacle that has just been chopped off its still-breathing host.

Worst armpit visited? Zimbabwe in summer of 2006 was about as bad as it gets, though I’m told it’s worse now. At the time, hyperinflation was nearing 1000%, which meant that a bottle of coke was priced at about 630,000 Zim Dollars. Of course, this was assuming you could even find a bottle of coke due to a nationwide shortage of sugar, petrol and just about every other commodity.

First culture shock experience? I grew up in a small town in New Jersey famous for drag-racing, strip malls and suburban discontent. Needless to say, you can imagine my culture shock when I found out that New Jersey wasn’t exactly like the rest of the world.